NFL Week 3 Recap — The Steelers Won, but Lost Ben Roethlisberger
Five teams got their first wins of the 2015 season, and another team may have suffered a season-altering loss, even though they won. Here’s what we learned in Week 3 of the NFL:
The Seahawks Looked Dangerous
The Seahawks were one of five teams who captured their first win of the 2015 season in Week 3. Sure, it was against backup quarterback Jimmy Clausen and the scuffling Bears, but Seattle (1-2) absolutely dominated Chicago, 26-0, on Sunday. With safety Kam Chancellor back in the Legion of Boom defense, the Seahawks forced the toothless Bears to punt on all 10 offensive possessions.
Seattle led just 6-0 at the half before rookie Tyler Lockett returned the second-half kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown to help jump-start the Seahawks’ sputtering attack. Chicago (0-3) finished with just seven first downs in the game.
The Steelers Avoid Fire, Beat Rams, But Lose Ben Roethlisberger
Sunday’s most bizarre NFL game took place in St. Louis, where the start of the Rams-Steelers contest was delayed almost 30 minutes because the turf near one of the end zones caught fire due to fireworks used during pregame introductions. Yes, that happened.
During the actual game, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was carted off the field with a left knee injury in the second half, but the Steelers held on for a 12-6 win — in part because Rams receiver Lance Kendricks dropped a sure touchdown pass early in the third quarter.
St. Louis (1-2) never crossed the goal line in the game, and Pittsburgh (2-1) didn’t need reserve QB Michael Vick to provide any heroics. That may not be the case next week; Roethlisberger could be out for a month or more. He suffered the injury on a sack by Mark Barron, who went low to bring the big QB down. Depending on Vick’s performance, the Steelers season could be at risk.
Tony & Dez Didn’t Play for the Cowboys; Neither Did Their Defense
The Cowboys dominated the first half of their first game without injured quarterback Tony Romo and receiver Dez Bryant on Sunday, but the Falcons ran over them in the second half and won the game, 39-28.
On the bright side for Dallas, they got three touchdowns from running back Joseph Randle and a competent start from backup quarterback Brandon Weeden, who was 22 of 26 for 232 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The duo helped the Cowboys to a 28-14 first-half lead.
Unfortunately for Dallas (2-1), its defense had no answer for Atlanta’s Devonta Freeman, who ran for 141 yards and three scores, or Julio Jones, who caught 12 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. The undefeated Falcons (3-0) have to be considered one of the NFL’s big surprises thus far in 2015.
Tom Brady Joined the 400 TD Club
Tom Bradybecame the fourth quarterback in NFL history to throw 400 career touchdown passes on Sunday, as New England routed Jacksonville, 51-17, in Foxboro, Mass. Brady completed 33 of 42 passes for 358 yards as he joined Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Dan Marino at the top of the NFL’s all-time touchdown pass list. The Patriots (3-0) also got three, 1-yard scores from LeGarrette Blount as they stomped the Jaguars (1-2).
The Colts & Eagles Still Have Hope, But the Ravens & Saints Shouldn’t
The Colts and Eagles each picked up their elusive first wins of the 2015 season on Sunday, but the Ravens and Saints remained winless and might be best served to begin looking at 2016.
Quarterback Andrew Luck threw two touchdown passes in under a minute in the fourth quarter to rally the Colts to a 35-33 win over the Titans on Sunday. Tennessee rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota nearly one-upped Luck with a late TD drive with under a minute to play, but Jalston Fowler was stopped on the potential game-tying 2-point conversion. Indianapolis (1-2) moved to 7-0 against the Titans (1-2) with Luck under center.
Four Jets turnovers and two touchdowns from Darren Sproles helped Philadelphia beat New York, 24-17, on Sunday. The Jets (2-1) lost their first contest of the 2015 season and played without injured running back Chris Ivory and wide receiver Eric Decker. The Eagles (1-2) got 108 yards and a score from running back Ryan Mathews, who started in place of the injured DeMarco Murray.
The Bengals needed the second of two Andy Dalton to A.J. Green touchdowns late in the fourth quarter to beat the Ravens, 28-24, on Sunday. Cincinnati (3-0) remained undefeated, while Baltimore fell to 0-3 for the first time in franchise history. The Ravens have suffered three losses by a total of 14 points, but they now sit three games behind the Bengals in the AFC North and remain the only winless team in the conference.
Cam Newton passed for 315 yards and two touchdowns, and the Panthers beat the Saints, 27-22, in Charlotte on Sunday. Carolina (3-0) kept pace with Atlanta at the top of the NFC South, while New Orleans (0-3) remained winless despite a solid start from reserve quarterback Luke McCown in place of the injured Drew Brees. McCown completed 31 of 38 passes for 310 yards, but he couldn’t keep the Saints from dropping three games back of two division rivals.
Thursday, Sept. 24
N.Y. Giants 32, Washington 21
Sunday, Sept. 27
Denver 24, Detroit 12
Arizona 47, San Francisco 7
Buffalo 41, Miami 14
Oakland 27, Cleveland 20
Houston 19, Tampa Bay 9
Minnesota 31, San Diego 14